Happy Birthday Deepika Padukone: Sports loss was the gain of the Hindi film industry. Deepika Padukone, daughter of Badminton legend Prakash Padukone is celebrating her birthday today, the 5th of January. Deepika was a potential National level Badminton Player but chose modelling as an alternate career. Soon she made a name for herself as a model and films were the natural next step for her.

Farah Khan was impressed after seeing Deepika in Himesh Reshammiya’s music video Naam Hai Tera and gave her a break. Interestingly Deepika had always maintained that she would never do two things, namely participate in beauty pageants and in music videos. However Himesh being at the very top, Deepika agreed as an exception. It was indeed destiny since this not only gave her a break, but the debut was opposite none other than reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Deepika Padukone
Happy Birthday Deepika Padukone: Highlights Of Her Interesting Bollywood Journey

Om Shanti Om saw Deepika play a double role and one of the roles was of an actress of the 1970’s. Deepika prepared for it by watching roles of Hema Malini and Helen in movies like Seeta Aur Geeta and Jewel Thief. This shows her dedication from her very first movie for which she deservedly won Best debut award.

Deepika zoomed to the top in 2013 with as many as 4 blockbuster hits, namely Race-2, Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Goliyon Ki Raas Leela Ram-Leela. However she herself says that the role of Veronica in Cocktail (2012) was the turning point in her career. Apparently, Priyanka Chopra was the 1st choice for Cocktail but she had date issues. Hats off to Deepika however since she was given the choice of both roles (of Veronica and Meera played by Diana Penty) and she chose that of Veronica as it was more challenging.

Two other noteworthy films of hers are Piku and Bajirao Mastani. Piku won for her a Best Actor female award and Amitabh Bachchan the best Actor male award as well. Once again she showed her versatility and ability for hard work by learning to Bengali. In fact not only she learnt the language but was keen to pick up the right accent, for which she extensively spoke and interacted with Bengali locals. Interestingly she had learnt Tamil for Chennai Express and Marathi for Happy New Year.

For Bajirao Mastani too she showed her propensity for hard work by learning sword-fighting and horse-riding. She also trained in Kalaripayattu, an Indian martial art which is considered to be the oldest fighting skill in existence

Deepika’s role in XXX; Return of Xander Cage was much looked forward to, but frankly was not up to the mark. The next awaited big-ticket Deepika movie will be Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati opposite Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The movie has run into controversy leading to delay in its release.

Happy Birthday, Deepika Padukone!

Ritesh Misra is an IRS officer currently based in Mumbai. He blogs & tweets @riteshmisra.

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